Parts The good news Fuller explanation, relevant information—the essence of the message—use your judgment what to include Positive & friendly ending
Explanation All facts & figures, reasons, directly/indirectly pertaining information—why, what, when, who, how—where all W’s can be added In case of compliance of the product, helpful instructions If the customer intends to purchase another product giving information Future information –promotion matter –suggestive manner, not forcing a judgment
Answering inquiries about individuals Justice to the subject of inquiry—no deprivations from the rights *Not worthy of your +ve opinion You—be true to the conscience Be fair to the person /organization—your judgment matters Civil rights laws—not to get involved in complications
Answering inquiries about individuals Details Q’s asked Honesty
Recommending a Candidate Job duties Prospective job Personality traits influencing the job
Recommending a candidate with shortcomings Weakness —relevant to the job --serious enough to influence the candidate’s trustworthiness --factual enough to strengthen --repetitive enough --answer the Q’s or implied inquiry --due attention to civil rights law
Good News (and Neutral) General Plan 1. Best news or main idea 2. Explanation i. All necessary details ii. Resale material iii. Educational material iv. Sales promotion 3. Positive, friendly ending i. Appreciation ii. Clear statement of action desired iii. Easy action and motivation to action iv. Willingness to help further v. Dated action if desirables
Writing Goodwill Letters The goodwill letter you write will probably be successful when you can answer yes to the following questions: 1. If you were the reader, would you honestly like to receive this letter? A goodwill letter does its job only when it makes the reader feel good. 2. Will the reader feel that you enjoyed writing the letter and that you mean everything you wrote? If the reader feels bored, or indifferent tone, he or she may doubt your sincerity and interest. 3.Did you keep the spotlight on the reader? To make the reader feel important, put your organization and yourself in the background and convince the reader that you have written the letter just for him or her. 4. Did you omit specific sales material? The reader will feel let down if your personal good wishes are only a prelude to a sales pitch.
General Plan (Indirect) 1. Buffer: i. Agreement ii. Appreciation iii. Assurance iv. Compliment v. Cooperation vi. Good News vii. Neutral Courtesy viii. Understanding
Agreement Find a point on which you and the reader share similar views. For example; We both know how hard it is to make a profit in this industry. Appreciation Express sincere thanks for receiving something. For example; Your check for Rs.25000/- arrived yesterday. Thank you. Cooperation Convey your willingness to help in any way you realistically can. For example; Employee Service is here to smooth the way for all of you who work to achieve company goals. Fairness Assure the reader that you’ve closely examined and carefully considered the problem, or mention an appropriate action that has already been taken. For example; For the past week, we have carefully monitored those using the photocopying machine to see whether we can detect any pattern of use that might explain its frequent breakdowns. Good News Start with the part of your message that is favourable. For example; A replacement knob for your range is on its way, shipped February 10 via TCS. Understanding Demonstrate that you understand the reader’s goals and needs. For example; So that you can more easily find the printer with the features you need, we are enclosing a brochure that describes all the Panasonic printers currently available.
Here are some other things to avoid the following thing when writing a buffer: 1) Avoid saying no, An audience facing the unpleasant news right at the beginning usually reacts negatively to the rest of the message, no matter how reasonable and well phrased it is. 2) Avoid using a know-it-all tone. When you use phrases such as “you should be aware that,” the audience expects your lecture to lead to a negative response and therefore resists the rest of your message. 3) Avoid wordy and irrelevant phrases and sentences. Sentences such as “We have received your letter,” “This letter is in reply to your request,” and “We are writing in response to your request” are irrelevant. You make better use of the space by referring directly to the subject of the letter. 4) Avoid apologizing. An apology weakens your explanation of the unfavourable decision. 5) Avoid writing a buffer that is too long. The point is to briefly identify something that both you and your audience are interested in and agree on before proceeding in a businesslike way.
Direct Requests Dear Sir Send me the latest catalogue of your office supplies Yours sincerely Analysis What do you think of Letter A? Very poor, isn’t it? Why? The letter demands rather than asks The writer has not supplied sufficient information
Refusal to Inquiries / Requests When you must say no, use the indirect plan and deliver the bad news gently and tactfully. Strive to convey courtesy and thoughtfulness through your letter. A gracious refusal is much like a persuasive request – you are asking your reader to accept your decision as the only fair answer under the circumstances. Remember that a “no” letter has two purposes: 1. To say no. 2. To keep the goodwill of the reader. To accomplish both purposes, consider the suggestions listed below. Approach the Letter as an Opportunity to “talk it Over” Give your reader whatever encouragement you can. Don’t say a plain “No.” like, “I must decline this invitation or this order or refuse this request,” you will probably write negatively. But you will probably write constructively if you think. “What can I do to encourage this person even though I have to say no?”
1. Start With a Friendly Buffer Paragraph When you receive a letter that begins, “It is my unpleasant duty to inform you that…” or “I’m sorry to tell you that we cannot grant your request…” in such situations don’t you immediately close your mind to whatever else the writer may say? You think that the writer is not interested in helping you in building goodwill or in keeping your friendship. The writer seems concerned only with saying no and getting an unpleasant task completed. But suppose the letter begins this way: Your proposal for a joint meeting of the faculty and Future Business Leaders of Pakistan (FLP) is exciting. (Aren’t you more likely to read the rest of the message with an open mind?)
2. Tell the Reader Why You Cannot Say Yes In your explanation, imply that you would rather say yes than no. And try to compliment the reader in some way. 3. Avoid a Negative Refusal Give explanation of your refusal in the beginning. A blunt “No” should be avoided. If your letter does good job of explaining, the reader will realize that you cannot do what he or she has asked – the “No” is inferred. If you must state your refusal (to be sure your reader knows you are not granting the request), avoid emphasizing it or putting it in negative terms. Sometimes limiting expressions, such as only or exclusively, may substitute for negatives such as regret, apologies, cannot, and so on.
Notice how this actual business letter gives the negative and almost avoids the positive points. Dear Sir, We are very sorry that your portrait has been damaged. This rarely happens to Malik photos. I regret to advise that we cannot hold negatives for a long period of time, because we lack sufficient storage space; therefore, we will not be able to reprint your portrait. I am, however, processing a refund in the amount of Rs. 500/-, which you should receive within the next six weeks. Please accept our apologies for this problem, as we greatly value your patronage. With kindest personal regards.
The following letter shows interest in the reader and tries to keep the business while refusing the request. Dear Mr. Babar, We were happy to hear that your family was so pleased with your portraits. And we are sorry that one was damaged. Because our storage space is limited; however, all negatives are destroyed ten days after an order has been filled. A refund in the amount of Rs. 500/- is being processed and you will receive it soon. Please do let us know if there is anything else we can do for you. Sincerely,
4. Give Encouragement and, When You Can, Give Help Sometimes you can take the sting out of a “No” with a helpful suggestion. For example, a department store representative, in declining an order for an article not carried by the store, may tell the customer where he or she can make the purchase. The reservations manager of a hotel, not able to make the reservations requested, suggested: If you can conveniently defer your arrival in Murree until May 15, we shall be glad to reserve a double room for you and your wife. If you must be here on May 10, you might write for help to the Greater New Hotel Murree at 105 the Mal, Murree.
Gentlemen, Please send me two copies of your free catalogue, “Prime gifts” which was advertised in the March issue of Ad Vision International. I plan to keep a copy and send the other to my friend. Thank you! Yours very truly
Gentlemen, I am impressed by your advertisement in the March issue of Ad Vision International concerning your free brochure, “Prime Gifts.” This seems like the answer to the most popular question, “What shall we give our outstanding employees when we want to reward them?” I’d like six copies one for myself and one for each of our general managers in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad. Thank you very much. Sincerely yours,
Responding to a Request for a Free Catalog Dear Mr. Gul, In a courier service, I am sending you six copies of our catalog, “Prime Gifts”. I am very pleased that you want to circulate it. The catalog explains everything but I do want to say that for quantities of 20 or more gifts we offer an attractive discount. Please let me know if I can be of help in other ways. Yours cordially,
Gentlemen, May I visit your building in which various office layouts, using modular equipment, are displayed? My schedule is very flexible, and I can come any time that is most convenient for you. Thank you. Yours very truly,